They say China’s youngsters born in the 90s are “wild” generation. So when recent labor market poses a cold and lofty face toward these 90s college graduates, some just decided to be their own bosses. Among them, two (a girl and a boy) dabbled into an unconventional business, setting up O2O model of sex toy shop, with a powerful store name simply called “POWERFUL”.

You might say nothing new. Sure, already players around and there are numerous and promiscuous C2C online stores cluttering Taobao. Still the two graduates perceived that robust demand from this sector of business in the most populous country should settle them a small market niche, through integrating offline with online strategies. They often say 90s generation is more digital savvy than my generation, so I wonder how the two would pull out their online marketing skills. My curiosity was aroused and would like to check it out.

Their tiny brick&motar shop is close to Communication University of China (a college purports to cultivate first class talents for media and broadcasting industry), in Beijing, from which they graduated. Obviously they two intend to leverage the students’ community nearby.

Their minimum budget would only allow them to open C2C online shop on Taobao. Nevertheless, the display of this online storefront does look somewhat “childlike fun and refreshing” compared with other “technically and stiffly instructive” C2C shops. It even has a category section for homosexuality, just to show how open-mindedness 90s generation is.

The two hope to utilize the skills learned from the school and apply their copywriting strength into the online shop advertising.  The girl founder is not shy to use her pretty face as the model image for the online shop.

If sex does sell, then the crucial part for their business survival is doing all the dirty work of online marketing. To me, the two painstakingly put their digital fingerprints onto every conduit they can think of.

  • Blogger drive: it even appears in a local blog for tech startup where I initially spotted them
  • Viral video: they uploaded videos on Youku, either offline store opening or girl founder’s birthday celebration, not direct sale, but talked about their stories of difficult entrepreneurship and aspiring dream
  • Sina Weibo: this beautiful girl founder is always the “eye candy” and main attraction, along with her alluring posts, so far over 30,000 followers; tweets and comments interaction are pretty impressive. Additionally it combines the feature of iWeizhan, which transformed your weibo content into Pinterest like site (powered by Sina, CNNIC, net.CN).
  • Weixin(Wechat): I mentioned this new mobile marketing tool in here a while ago. Again the two entertain their followers on Sina Weibo so as to beguile more people to scan their QR code and become their connections. Weixin is actually pretty ideal for them to engage intimate conversations with fans, even announcing the upcoming offline party sometimes.

All in all, no matter how sexy or unflattering this kind of business may sound, it is still a serious and tough entrepreneurship for the two graduates. Wish them good luck as their adventure can be crumbled very easily. Besides, I am confident that much younger generations in China, not just 90s, will for sure play the digital marketing game into a more sensational and creative level.



By Cécilia Wu
English & Chinese Editorial Manager